Pregnancy and Parasites

     In both of the articles we read this week, the authors argued that human beings have a certain “right to life” that should not be taken away.  Don Marquis argues that it is immoral to kill babies by having an abortion because you are taking away that “person’s” potential future; which he says, we can all agree is not right.  On the other hand, Judith Jarvis Thomson argues that although abortion is not a good thing, the mother has the right to life as well.  If there are complications during the pregnancy, whose life is more important:  the mother’s or the baby’s?

     To answer this question she explains that an abortion can be selfish on the part of the mother, but not unjust.  No one can ask you to give up your body for 9 months if you do not give the authority.  The extension I would like to give to this argument is that fetuses are much like parasites.  They feed and take food from the mother for the entire duration of the pregnancy.  The technical definition of a parasite is one organism feeding on another organism from a different species, but for argument’s sake, let’s say this definition still works in our scenario.  The article I read said, “relative to childbirth that ‘every minute one woman dies from the complications related to pregnancy and childbirth.'”  If this were any other “normal” parasite, we would go to our doctor’s office and get the issue resolved by killing off the parasite.  But when it concerns the life of another “human,” many people believe killing it off is wrong.  If there is an unwelcome foreign being inside of a woman, why is it wrong to get rid of it?  Framing abortion in this way, provides different perspective to our personal views.

     The abortion debate does not come down to just or unjust; the debate comes down to moral and immoral.  If you define the debate in this manner, no one can argue what the laws of abortion should be.  Every person’s moral standards are different; therefore, we cannot be dictated to, the “rules” of abortion.

***Please do not hold me to the arguments I posted above.  These are not necessarily my personal beliefs.  The purpose of my arguments were to provide a different point of view.***

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One thought on “Pregnancy and Parasites

  1. Interesting disclaimer towards the end, haha. I believe that the argument on abortion comes down to whether you, as a people, would rather push for every human’s right to life (in this case, the fetus) or whether you’d rather have body autonomy. The abortion debate is interesting because it illustrates that humans are not individual creatures, we do not lay our spawn and leave them to the world, instead we are very much interdependent and reliant on our mothers through development and during our younger years. Though I would be cautious of the connotation of the word “parasite” as it implies a danger that must be gotten rid of, lest you suffer health complications and die and I doubt we want to think of our offspring in this way.

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